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Today’s Washington Post includes a brief article on a major Mount Vernon Square development in the works. In short, Douglas Jemal, “who helped transform Washington’s Chinatown has plans for a mixed-use project two blocks east of the convention center, bounded by 6th, 7th, K and L streets NW…Jemal has hired District-based architectural firm Shalom Baranes to design the mixed-use project, which is to include office buildings and a variety of retail shops. Jemal said he was not certain whether a boutique hotel will be included, as originally planned,” according to the Post story.
The news landed on the second page of the business section. But you’d think it was worthy of its own commemorative issue given the neighborhood response. After a meeting in the area, The Triangle wrote up a lengthy list of Douglas Development’s preliminary plans. The comment section was raging over at the Life in Mount Vernon Square blog. Former Ward 2 Councilmember candidate Cary Silverman has also weighed in about whether there will be enough residential units:
“DC’s population has increased to about 580,000, but that is still far short from its historic pre-riot high of over 760,000…On the other hand, has the massive condo and apartment explosion maxed out, particularly in the area surrounding this site? Over the past few years, in addition to the Penn Quarter units, we’ve seen condos and rentals come online at 400, 450, and 555 Massachusetts Avenue, the Sonata, and the Whitman. Most recently, Yale Laundry, CityVista, and Madrigal Lofts have opened their doors. (Note: Yale has filled about 65 of 140 units so far). Yale II is under construction. How much more housing can the area sustain? What will the current financial market allow?”